[Wittrs] Dualism Cooties: Is Property Dualism Always Fatal?

  • From: Joseph Polanik <jpolanik@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wittrsamr@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 06 Mar 2010 08:05:12 -0500

SWM wrote:

>iro3isdx wrote:

>>I do wish that both sides would stop accusing the other side of

>It's possible, of course, to argue that it can be caused (as in brought
>into the world) by a physical process or event but still be
>ontologically basic, however. That, of course, would still be dualism

>It seems to me the possibilities here are:

>1) Consciousness is seen as a unique something that co-exists, at some
>level, with all that we call physical in the universe (atoms, energy,
>forces, etc.) but is of a fundamentally different type or nature from
>all the rest.

>2) Consciousness is produced by some combination of the rest but, once
>produced is fundamentally different and stand-alone. A new something
>has been brought into the world.

>3) Consciousness is a parallel realm of being that peers into the
>physical world through some physical window (the brain as lense to
>another dimension, you might say).

these possibilities are all versions of substance dualism; property
dualism may be far less pejorative.

>I want to add here that, of course (based on many things I have said on
>this list and earlier), I find Dennett's thesis convincing though I am
>less enamoured of Edelman's explanation of how brains work or Searle's
>notion of how the features of mind should be understood. I am more
>comfortable with Hawkins and I am very sympathetic with the work and of
>Dehaene. But all of them (including Searle, explicitly anyway) agree,
>in principle that consciousness is the outcome of perfectly physical

at which point we must either embrace or evade property dualism.

clearly, all physical objects have properties which are measurable;
otherwise, we'd not be able to detect them. for example, electromagnetic
radiation in the visible range has properties enabling it to interact
with photochemicals in the retina. that would be a measurable
phenomenon; but, not an experienceable phenomenon.

the interaction between light and photochemicals in the eye sends a
signal to the brain and eventually a person experiences seeing redness
(or whatever).

it seems, then, that some physical properties cause only measurable
effects while other physical properties cause experienceable effects in
addition to or instead of any measurable effects they cause.

that's property dualism



Nothing Unreal is Self-Aware



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